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Recent events organised by CIPFA in the North East

This page serves as an archive of recent CIPFA in the North East events. Details of upcoming events can be found on the CIPFA North East homepage.


CIPFA North East’s 11th Annual Conference

Over 80 people joined us at the eleventh CIPFA North East annual conference, held on Friday 25th November at the Crowne Plaza hotel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. We opened with a welcome from the then CIPFA NE president, James Charlton who introduced our chair for day – former NE President and Chief Executive Officer of NHS Business Services Authority, Michael Brodie CBE.


The first presentation was a recorded video from Rob Whiteman, CIPFA CEO who summarised the key challenges facing public sector organisations, including the global financial context, as well as an update on CIPFA’s activities.

Next up was Lorna Smith, Interim Director of Public Health at Newcastle City Council who gave an update on the public health challenges in Newcastle.    Following Lorna was Kevin Meaney from New Tricks Advanced Business Training who gave an interesting presentation exploring the issue of how comfortable team members are in voicing their true opinions without fear of being judged and incurring negative consequences, and that teams that feel psychologically safe can move forward with confidence and enthusiasm. Jenny Nelson, Head of ICT & Digital Transformation at Newcastle City Council delivered the last session before lunch, sharing the lessons learned from the first four phases of Newcastle City Council’s corporate digital transformation journey.


After a short lunch break, the conference resumed with a panel discussion around the challenges and opportunities regarding the public sector workforce – chaired by Bruce Parvin, current CIPFA North East President and Schools Funding Manager at Northumberland County Council, along with Sarah Kilner, the Workforce Lead at North East & North Cumbria ICB and Michael Brodie.


Jon Ritchie, Director of Resources and North Tyneside Council led the next session titled ‘Planning in Uncertain (or Impossible) Times’, taking us through the challenges involved in setting the annual budget for a local authority in such a volatile context.  Up next Kelly Watson, Head of Local Government Relationships at the CCLA gave a presentation titled ‘Investing in a Better World’ which was an interesting insight into how her organisation is encouraging more sustainable investing as well as helping to tackle issues such as Modern Slavery with their Find it, Fix it, Prevent it initiative.


The final session was delivered by Sarah Kilner who gave an insightful overview of the North East & North Cumbria Integrated Care Board.  The day ended with attendees taking the opportunity to catch up and network over drinks with CIPFA friends and colleagues.

Blackbelt in negotiation webinar – January 2023


We hosted a webinar on 26th January with Tom Flatau of Team Working International. Tom is an international speaker and expert in neuroscience and its application to leadership, sales and negotiation.  In this interactive session he introduced attendees to neuroscience-based techniques to ensure win-win outcomes and to build long term, profitable relationships, as well as covering the pitfalls of negotiating remotely. He also explained the 5 stage ‘negotiation funnel’ and the neuroscience behind it.


Women In Finance – January 2023


In January the Women in Finance event returned to a face to face setting at Northumbria University in Newcastle. With a packed schedule we heard from a diverse range of speakers, starting with Professor Kathryn Haynes of Northumbria University who set out some of her fascinating work on gender and the accounting profession. She explained how office dress code policies impact more on women and can inhibit freedom of expression in the workplace.


We next heard from Gaye Martin of the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit who spoke candidly about her experiences as a female police officer on the front line, with her top tip of “ask for help when you need it” - simple but something many of us need reminding of. Nicola Seymour from Northumbria Police talked us through their endometriosis support network which is helping to not only support sufferers working in the Force but to also raise awareness and understanding of women’s health issues.


Lin Liu of Cambridgeshire County Council talked about her own battles and challenges and the overriding principle of positive thinking, especially in moments of defeat. Kate Hill of Moore Insight talked us through what it’s like having multiple caring roles and the emotional battle many of us have to endure before we even reach the office – compassion and kindness are simple values that everyone can benefit from in the workplace.


Graeme Tennick of Tennick Accountants spoke about the importance of creating culture within organisations, something we can all do whatever our position in the organisation. It’s important to understand why we’re doing the things we do and bring passion to our work.


Finally Manj Kalar of Kalar Consulting gave delegates some excellent tips on raising your visibility and profile within the workplace which helped to bring things to a close. After hearing many personal stories and journeys and tips for success, delegates had plenty of content to digest on the way home and we’re already planning the next event. Wed love to hear any ideas for future Women in Finance events, including themes, speakers and venues. Speaker slides are available on our website.

Mary Astell Ceremony – March 2023


CIPFA North East were invited to attend a ceremony at St. Nicholas’ Cathedral in Newcastle City Centre on International Women’s Day for the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Mary Astell. Astell has been described as the first feminist, being born in Newcastle in 1666. She advanced ideas and beliefs that many people in modern Britain hold today – the belief that by increasing equality and access to education we can build a better and fairer society. One which invests in the happiness of its people, and doesn’t believe that ignorance is bliss.


Also taking place during the day were ‘Women Behind the Stones’ tours, which highlighted some of the trailblazing women remembered within the Cathedral. A ‘Working with Women’ showcase event was also held, celebrating the organisations and individuals in the region who support and promote the rights and lives of women.

This included representatives from schools, heritage, professional services and volunteer-led groups, including CIPFA North East. Judith gave a talk on how we developed the Women in Finance event to support women in our sector and encourage them to reach their full potential. The talks were fascinating listening – there are so many ways that we come together to support women and girls in our community. We also listened to brilliant music from a local band Howay the Lasses who write songs on notable women of the north east.


The plaque is sited on the wall adjoining the Cathedral and Amen Corner and was unveiled by the Sheriff of Newcastle, Councillor Veronica Dunn and Jane Hedges, Acting Dean of Newcastle.


CIPFA North East AGM March 2023


The AGM was a virtual meeting held on 23 March 2023.  As well as approving the financial report and annual accounts the team had a look back at the past 12 months.  CIPFA NE have hosted many successful events; Sixth Form Games, Professional Update Day, Student Graduation Ceremony, CIPFA NE Annual Conference, Women In Finance along with virtual events.  CIPFA NE also sponsored two students in July 2022 to attend the Public Finance Live Event.  James Charlton also had the pleasure of being on the judging panel at the North East Accountancy Awards, where CIPFA NE sponsored the Public Sector Team of the Year Award at this event.